Exhaustion, anxiety, and never-wavering affection: these emotions shape your day, keeping one foot always moving in front of the other and one hand always reaching to help. You serve as a caregiver. Each hour becomes a series of medical procedures (all painstakingly memorized), prescriptions (all precisely measured), and therapy routines (all rigorously upheld). A loved one needs your support, and you give it happily.
A willing body can't compensate for a tired mind, however, and this process slowly takes a toll. You're overwhelmed and underprepared, which leads to ever-rising stress. You need help - and Respite Care can provide it.
What is Respite Care?
Respite Care is a specialized program intended for both patients and their families. It delivers third-party support from nurses, doctors, counselors, dietitians, and other health professionals to primary caregivers, allowing them to temporarily step away from their responsibilities. This helps to alleviate the burden of treating chronic illnesses and promotes a better quality of life for all involved.
This program features two distinct options:
For in-home respite, patients remain in their houses, apartments, or other condos and medical staffers visit them. These staffers perform all necessary duties, including administering medication, wound care, catheter care, pain management monitoring, behavioral counseling, and more, while the primary caregivers rest. This process may be daily, weekly, or monthly.
For in-facility respite, patients are temporarily transferred to new facilities (such as adult day care centers or nursing homes). There they receive full-time care from medical professionals, allowing their families to rejuvenate their physical and emotional strengths. The length of this process varies greatly, with doctors assessing caregiver needs and dictating the timelines.
Through these two methods, families receive the support they both require and deserve.
What Services do Respite Care Professionals Provide?
You may fear that respite care will negatively impact your loved one's health. After all, how could anyone else understand his treatment routines as well as you? How could anyone else offer the same devotion? You're the only one who understands his needs.
However, these programs are intended to provide much-needed aid to both you and your family. They offer essential services for every day, balancing medical and personal needs. These include:
- Medication Management
- Meal Planning and Feeding
- Personal Grooming Assistance
- Dressing Assistance
- Housekeeping and Laundry
- Transportation (including to doctor's appointments or social engagements)
Through Respite Care, your loved one receives dedicated attention and you receive a few hours to relieve your stress. This, according to the Center for Disease Control, is vital since:
- 54% of primary caregivers experience sudden health declines, with their bodies unable to cope with the constant daily demands.
- 35% of primary caregivers experience difficulties in finding time for themselves.
- 29% of primary caregivers experience both emotional and physical stress.
- 29% of primary caregivers experience difficulties in balancing their careers and their family obligations. This often leads to a sacrifice of one for the other.
Respite Care proves essential for patients and their families alike.
When Should Caregivers Seek Respite Care?
Though known typically as a way to reduce anxiety, Respite Care applies to many scenarios. These include:
- A need to travel (whether for work or family-related issues).
- An illness experienced by the primary caregiver.
- Changes in work scheduling.
- The arrival of a newborn.
- The need to move.
These events demand a caregiver's full attention, which can't be offered when trying to maintain health routines. Respite programs become worthwhile alternatives to consider.
What is the Cost of Respite Care?
Respite Care has no standard length of time. It's therefore impossible to fully predict its costs. Each case proves unique and will feature its own specific budget needs.
A recent study by GenWorth Financial, however, did achieve an approximation of daily, monthly, and annual expenses:
Home Health Aides
Cost Growth Projection: 1%
Adult Day Care
Cost Growth Projection: 3%
Temporary Assisted Living Facility
Cost Growth Projection: 2%
Temporary Nursing Home Care (Semi-Private Room)
Cost Growth Projection: 4%
Temporary Nursing Home Care (Private Room)
Cost Growth Projection: 4%
Respite Care, despite its necessity, often proves expensive, and this requires individuals to start preparing for it long before they actually need it. Generating savings and applying for insurance is key.
What Payment Programs are Available for Respite Care?
The costs of Respite Care can wreak havoc on any budget. Therefore, payment programs are needed to supplement the cost, with primary caregivers carefully considering their options. These options include Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.
Medicare's value is impossible to deny. This national health insurance delivers comprehensive coverage for seniors, offering long-term plans and viable solutions. Its relationship with respite services, however, often proves strained, with many short-term programs deemed ineligible for assistance. The exception to this rule is when a physician verifies the necessity of custodial care and authorizes its use. A five-day hospice stay will then occur, with following visits determined as needed.
Medicaid provides superior health coverage to seniors, children, and those with low incomes. It's intended to complement both Medicare and private insurances. It also offers respite support, connecting families to 1915(c) waivers. These forms offset the costs of in-house or in-facility services.
Private agencies don't always address the need for Respite Care. However, some do draft extended care policies, long-term care policies, and other assistance options. Premiums vary, as do benefits.
It's often a challenge to afford Respite Care. However, there are ways to reduce the costs and provide superior protection. Consider Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurances.
You love your family. This is why you strive to provide the best possible care. Respite services are part of that care, however: helping you to achieve balanced emotional, physical, and mental states. Improve your life to improve the lives of others.